Delighted in you

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Gio’s birthday was yesterday. He met me, with a shy smile, on the steps of his home, and his first question was “Pop, can I open my present now?” He saw a gift in his grandfather’s hand and, yes, like any little child, he wanted to know what surprise was in store for him. I was there to celebrate his 5th birthday! No need to be indirect, to pretend indifference. It was my delight to hand him the package. He made it just inside the door, flopped to the floor, and smiled broadly when he saw what I had brought for him. Most likely I found more joy in the giving than Gio did in the receiving. Such is the nature of being a grandparent.

Our Father in Heaven delights in our asking and in the giving infinitely more than this grandfather delights in giving to his grandson.

Jesus, when speaking about our relationship with God, said “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:9-11, NIV)  Just prior to those words, as He taught about prayer, Jesus instructed – “Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in.” (Matthew 7:7-8, The Message)

When we are child-like (not childish!) in our relationship with God, we will come to Him with an open heart, eager to receive, quick to ask, and ready to trust. God doesn’t need to be convinced to love you. He is love and has prepared good gifts for this day. He is wise enough to know exactly what we need, when we need it.  Will we believe that and live in the assurance that comes from that kind of uncomplicated faith?

Need wisdom today? Ask Him.
Need strength to overcome temptation? Ask Him.
Need resources to meet some demands facing you this week? Ask Him.
Need help dealing with grief or pain? Ask Him.
Need courage? Ask Him.

Don’t get tangled up in the words or start to focus on whether or not you are worthy. Just open your heart and learn to talk with Him- presenting petitions, waiting in silent meditation, offering worship for Who He is, praising Him for life and breath. If you become aware of areas that are ungodly; someone you treated poorly, selfishness, preoccupation with getting over getting, a refusal to forgive … don’t make the mistake of hiding from Him, or keeping your requests for a day when you ‘feel’ that you are more deserving.

We never deserve anything from God but we always can receive all things from Him because He gives gifts, not rewards for good behavior.  Oh yes, there is a time for confession that is without excuse, acknowledgement of our sins and failures and a humble heart will never be met with a slap or a rejection. He loves to forgive, make us right, and give us help to be better.

So, this Monday morning, start the week by talking it over with your Abba! Here is a word from the Word. Be encouraged today.
“God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go! This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him! ” (Romans 8:14-17, The Message)

_____________

Good, Good Father

(Casting Crowns sings a great song about God’s love)

I’ve heard a thousand stories
Of what they think You’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whisper
Of love in the dead of night
You tell me that You’re pleased
And that I’m never alone

 You’re a Good Good Father
It’s who You are
It’s who You are
It’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am
It’s who I am
It’s who I am

 I’ve seen many searching for answers
Far and wide
But I know we’re all searching for answers
Only You provide
Because You know just what we need
Before we say a word

 You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways to us

Love so undeniable I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable I can hardly think\
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
Into love love love

 Anthony Brown | Pat Barrett © 2014 Capitol CMG Paragon (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Common Hymnal Publishing (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Housefires Sounds (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) CCLI License # 810055

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